Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Confirmed callups for Macedonia, Poland friendlies

There's a thread going on the Voyageurs board listing confirmed callups for the friendlies against Poland and Macedonia next week. This happens with every set of Canada matches, and the fact that we hear the news from assorted club sites and European media sources before the final CSA roster is announced is nothing to be surprised or upset about. Liking not all the names have been confirmed quite yet.

Here's what we know:

Goalkeepers
  • Lars Hirschfeld (FC Energie Cottbus, 28 caps, 7 clean sheets): After a nightmarish year in Transylvania, Lars made the move to Germany where he is again riding pine, though his prospects seem improved [source for call-up news]
Defenders
  • Richard Hastings (Hamilton Academical FC, 56 caps, 1 goal): Hastings has been a loyal service in the past, but is long past his prime. I can't think of a good reason for this selection. [source]
  • Jacob Lensky (FC Utrecht, 0 caps): Lensky has been an interesting story over the years. In January, he was interviewed about his reasons for quitting Feyenoord. Soon after, he washed out in trials with Vancouver and Seattle, before popping up in the Eredivisie this summer, where he has been a regular with an upper-table side. [source].
    Says Lensky of his callup: It's a pleasant surprise. I had heard rumours here and there, and I know that the coach had seen some Utrecht matches on TV
    . THIS!
  • Dejan Jakovic (DC United, 5 caps, 0 goals): Jakovic became a fixture of Canada's back line in this summer's Gold Cup and acquitted himself well. He was also a central part of DC United's defense, and his late season injury damaged the team's playoff hopes. He's one of several younger players who have the opportunity to put their stamp on the centre back position.
  • Mike Klukowski (Club Brugge, 24 caps, 0 goals): Klukowski is a personal favourite of mine, and probably the most consistent national team performer over the last few years. He has the starting left back spot locked down for the next while, which means guys like Lensky and de Jong will likely have to find work in the midfield if they want to play. [source]
  • Paul Stalteri (Borussia M'gladbach, 77 caps, 7 goals): Stalteri is a dedicated servant of the national team who is currently 5 caps short of tying the all-time record for Canada held by Randy Samuel. He is the runaway leader among active players, and I expect he'll keep getting called until he surpasses 82 caps. He also is one of few options at right back, and is a useful player when healthy, which hasn't been the case often this season. [source]
Midfielders
  • Atiba Hutchinson (FC Kobenhavn, 45 caps, 2 goals): Hutchinson is a consistent midfielder who, at age 26, seems to have reached a plateau career-wise. This isn't entirely a bad thing. FCK is a top team in Denmark that is in Europe every year, and Hutchinson is a key player for them who has been scoring goals lately. A key cog in any Canada midfield for the next few years. [source]
  • Marcel de Jong (Roda JC, 11 caps, 1 goal): Canada is in the unique position of having a glut of left-sided defensive players. With someone like Klukowski in the picture, de Jong is unlikely to play much at left back. But he's played in midfield with the national team, and more recently with his club. That's where I'd expect to see him play for Canada in these matches. [source]
Forwards
  • Rob Friend (Borussia M'gladbach, 22 caps 2 goals): Friend is returning from an injury, and scored a big game winning goal for his club on the weekend. His Bundesliga scoring record is much better than his national team strike rate, which he needs to improve. He's playing at the highest level of Canadian strikers, and should be a part of every squad in the near future. [source]

I'll keep updating as we learn more names, or we accidentally call up another waste of time like Lensky.

9 comments:

Lord Bob said...

Richard Hastings never dies, he just goes to sleep one day.

Pompey Canuck said...

Hastings definitely should not be in the side, we need young players to get experience. We aren't trying to build a side for the next Gold Cup, we are trying to build a side for the next World Cup. Hastings is 32 at the World Cup he will be 37. He is already past it now. The only old player that should get a look is Radz if he wants to play in Poland.

J said...

I don't mind calling older guys with no real long term future with Canada, if they are the best option at their position. I'd support a Radzinski call for that reason, regardless of whether the opponent holds sentimental value.

However, there are no real sentimental reasons to call Hastings for these matches, and he is not among the top 3 best options at LB or CB.

That said, if Hart has one or two pleasant surprises up his sleeve, in addition to the Lensky selection, I'll be more than willing to forgive this Hastings nonsense.

Lord Bob said...

A pleasant surprise like Dominic Imhof? Eh? Eh?

Kevin Smith said...

Any chance these games will be on TV?

J said...

Kevin,
I'm no authority on the matter, but I think Canadian tv is unlikely. I'd be surprised if we weren't able to find a stream for the Poland match at least, since that country seems to be a world leader in pirated television streams.

Kevin Smith said...

That's what I figured...but you know, one can hope. What's even more unfortunate is the fact that Poland is the wednesday game, so it'll air while I (among others) am at work, whereas Macedonia just won't air at all. Bugger...

Pompey Canuck said...

I really hope that Stalteri and Hastings are there in more a mentoring role. We need to get the young players some experience.

J said...

I'm with you regarding Hastings, but I think Stalteri still has something to offer. If you still think it's important that we win a lot of these matches, then we have to acknowledge that Stalteri is still our best option at RB. And there's no way he stops getting called before he gets the record for most caps.